Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats vs. Dawgs: Wildcats Welcome Huskies this Friday
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 21, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 21, 2012

What's Up:

No. 14 Arizona hosts the No. 25 Washington Huskies this Friday, February 24th. Doors open at 6p.m. and the meet will begin at 7p.m. Live stats and a live video feed will also be available for those unable to make it to McKale.

Scouting the Opposition:

Last week the then No. 23 Huskies posted season high bars (49.075) and floor (48.975) totals to take second place in a tri-meet against then No. 13 L.S.U. and Seattle-Pacific. Standouts for Washington included freshman McKenzie Fechter who finished second in the all-around with a career-best 39.125 and junior Paige Bixler, who won her second beam title of the season with a 9.875.

Full Recap

Ranked Wildcats:

As a team, Arizona has been consistently raising its ranking in the overall team standings, finding itself in the No. 14 slot after last week's season high. The overall average score for the team is currently 195.321, with an RQS score of 195.130. The team is also ranked No. 18 on vault, No. 17 on bars, No. 16 on beam, and No. 11 on floor.

The team ranking isn't the only success for the Cats: Arizona has two individuals ranked in the top 25 in the nation on various events.

Katie Matusik currently holds two top 25 rankings, earning the No. 16 spot on beam, and the No. 25 spot on bars. On beam the senior averages a 9.833 and boasts an RQS score of 9.820. On bars Matusik averages a 9.833 with an average score of 9.825.

Junior Aubree Cristello holds a top 10 ranking on floor, coming in at No. 8 with an average 9.892 and an RQS score of 9.880. Cristello also is ranked No. 69 in the all-around after a new career high 39.475 against BYU.

Last Week:

The Wildcats posted a new season high 196.275 to defeat the BYU Cougars with a 194.525. The team posted new team highs on bars, beam, and floor to contribute to the victory.

On bars the Cats stuck all of their landings, having so much success that the lowest score to drop was a 9.800 leading to a total of 49.175.

The beam team hit all six routines for the first time in the home campaign, posting a total of 48.950. The highlight of the event was senior Katie Matusik, who earned a score of 9.90.

On floor the team earned a 49.375 thanks to efforts from senior Rebecca Cardenas with a 9.90, and junior Aubree Cristello with a career high 9.950.

Full Recap

2011 Review:

The Wildcats completed the 2011 season with an overall record of 13-12 and were able to make their 25th consecutive NCAA post-season appearance. Finishing fifth at the Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA Regional Championships, Arizona rounded out the season ranked No. 20 in the nation.

Major contributors included then RS senior Miranda Russell, and then-juniors Deanna Graham and Katie Matusik.

Russell, who had spent her RS junior season competing only on bars, returned to vault and floor in 2011, making a huge impact on the team totals with high scores of 9.875 on vault, two scores 9.90 on bars, and a career high 9.925 on floor. Russell also took fifth place on vault at the Pac-10 Championships, and sixth place on both bars and floor at the NCAA Regional Championships.

Graham was one of the team's top all-around athletes, posting a season high AA score of 39.100 at the Pac-10 Championships. Graham also tallied high scores of 9.925 on vault, 9.850 on bars, 9.90 on beam, and 9.90 on floor. Her performance throughout the season earned conference recognition as she was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 All-Around.

Matusik had a break out junior season as well, taking the title of "beam queen" for the season. Matusik earned three scores of 9.90 or better on the event, with a career high 9.925 at BYU (2/26). She also earned second place on beam at the NCAA Regional Championships with a score of 9.875, and was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 Beam Team. Lastly, Matusik was one of two conference athletes to be honored with the Pac-10 Sportsmanship Award for 2011.

A number of Wildcats were recognized by the conference throughout the season, including Matusik (Special Performance of the Week Feb. 21 - 27), Graham (Gymnast of the Week Feb. 7 - 13, and Mar. 7-13), then junior Aubree Cristello (Gymnast of the Week Jan. 31-Feb.6, and first-team All-Pac-10 All-Around), and Russell (Special Performance of the Week Jan. 24-30).

Look Out for New GymCats:

Arizona added a number of new faces this season, including Danielle Buchanan out of Lancaster, Calif., Allison Flores hailing from Addison, Ill., Edmonton, Alberta native Kristin Klarenbach, and Amber Wobma from Rockford, Mich.

Questions for Coach:

Each week, head gymnastics coach Bill Ryden sits down to talk with us to analyze the previous week's meet. This Coach's Show is available for free via the All-Access tab on the website. 

This season Ryden is entertaining questions from the public. If you have any questions you would like to ask Coach Ryden - from the type of grips the girl's like to use to different coaching decisions - e-mail them to the gymnastics SID Valery Meusburger at Then, watch for your questions in the weekly Coach's Show!

Pre-season Rankings:

The Arizona gymnastics team headed into the season ranked No. 19 in the 2012 Women's Pre-Season Coaches poll. The Wildcats were one of six Pac-12 schools to place within the top 25 in the prelim poll, with UCLA ranked No. 1, Utah ranked No. 5, Oregon State at No. 7, Stanford at No. 8, and Washington falling in at No. 16.

Ryden's Record:

After the new season high against BYU, head coach Bill Ryden bolsters a career record of 181-177-3.

What's Coming Up:

Arizona hits the road for a double play in California, first heading to Davis, Calif. to compete against UC-Davis, San Jose St., and Alaska (March 2 at 7p.m.) then to Palo Alto, Calif. taking on Sanford and California (March 4 at 2p.m.).


Bear Down Challenge Gymnastics